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The President’s Authority to Force the Shah to Return to Iran


The Shah cannot be extradited to Iran, since the United States has no extradition treaty with Iran; however, §§ 241(a)(7) and 212(a)(27) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) would permit the Attorney General to deport the Shah if his presence in this country were determined to be prejudicial to the public interest.

On its face, § 243(a) of the INA appears to permit the Attorney General to force the Shah, upon deportation, to return to Iran; however, § 243(h) of the INA and applicable principles of international law would preclude the Attorney General’s forcing anyone to return to a country where he or she would be subject to political persecution, as the Shah would be if deported to Iran.

Updated July 9, 2014